Croatia or officially called the Republic of Croatia or Republika Hrvatska in Croatian language is a European Country that saturated in the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. It has an area around 56,600 square kilometers and has a population of just 4.3 million. Croatia actually was a part of Yugoslavia. But in June 25, 1991 Croatia declared Independence, which actually get its whole effect on October 8th. Then the Croatian War of Independence was fought. Which was successfully fought for four years following the declaration of independence.
After its independence in 1991, Croatia didn't participate in the 1994 FIFA World Cup which was held in the United States. After that They Participate in all the FIFA World Cup Tournaments except 2010 where they actually couldn't qualify. In this article I am trying to cover the performance of Croatia in FIFA World Cup France 1998.
Croatia representing their Country for the first time in the FIFA World Cup. Croatia was to play in the Group H, along with two new teams which are qualified for the first time in World Cups, Jamaica and Japan with the two time World Champions Argentina.
CROATIA 🇭🇷 vs. JAMAICA 🇯🇲 (3-1): The match was played in June 14 at Stade Félix Bollaert Stadium in Lens. It was their first match, and in the memorable game, the No. 13 Mid Fielder Mario Stanić scored the first ever goal for Croatia in the World Cups in the 27 minutes. And with the help of Robert Prosinečki and Davor Šuker's goals in 53 and 69 minutes respectively Croatia win the match very easily with the score of 3-1.
CROATIA 🇭🇷 vs. JAPAN 🇯🇵 (1-0): In June 20 at Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes, Croatia played their second against Japan debutant in the World Cups. And with the help of Davor Šuker's another goal in the tournament at 77 minutes, Croatia won the match with the score of 1-0.
CROATIA 🇭🇷 vs. ARGENTINA 🇦🇷 (0-1): 26th June at the Parc Lescure Stadium, Bordeaux, Croatia was going to play against the two time World Cup Winners Argentina. But unfortunately cause of Hector Pineda's amazing goal in the 36 minutes, Croatia couldn't do the Hat-Trick wins. But cause of their 2 amazing win against Jamaica and Japan, Croatia easily qualified for the Next Round, the Round of 16. And in the Knock-Out Stage, they was going to play against Romania.
CROATIA 🇭🇷 vs. ROMANIA 🇷🇴 (1-0): June 30 again at Parc Lescure, Bordeaux, Croatia was getting ready to beat Romania (The Winners of the Group G) and go for the Quarter Finals. And in the injury time of the half-time Croatia got a penalty, cause of Gabriel Popescu's foul against Aljoša Asanović. The game was won thanks to the successfully converted penalty by Davor Šuker. It was Šuker's 3rd goal in the tournament and Croatia successfully makes its way to the Quarter-Finals against Germany.
CROATIA 🇭🇷 vs. GERMANY 🇩🇪 (3-0): in July 4 at State Gerland, Lyon, Croatia is going to play against the hot favourite Germany in the Quarter Finals. Again in the stoppage time before the first half, Robert Jami scored a goal. And in the second half thanks to Goran Vlaović & Davor Šuker's 2 amazing goals in 80 & 85 minutes. Croatia shocked everyone and get the surprise victory against Germany. It was Šuker's 4th Goal in the tournament. Croatia gets the ticket to Semi Final where they are going to compete with the host French team.
CROATIA 🇭🇷 vs. FRANCE 🇫🇷 (1-2): July 8th at Stade de France, Saint-Denis, Croatia come to the field to compete against the host team. The first half was crucial but both team couldn't score. But in the first minute of the second half, the Croatian top goal soccer Šuker scored his 5th goal and Croatia knocked the door of the Final. But just after that goal, in the next minute Lilian Thuram immediately scored the equaliser. And cause of Thuram's another goal in the 69th minute, Croatia's dream was broken. However, they get a chance to compete for the Third Place in the World Cup.
CROATIA 🇭🇷 vs. NETHERLANDS 🇳🇱 (2-1): 11th July at Parc des Princes in Paris, Croatia return to the field to compete for the Third Place against Netherlands. In just the 13 minutes of the game, Robert Prosinečki scored his 2nd goal. But in the 21th minute, Boudewijn Zenden scored the equaliser. And with the help of Davor Šuker's 6th goal in the tournament which was come in the 35th minute, Croatia win the match.
With this victory, Croatia finished in the Third position, becoming the surprise package of the tournament.
Croatian Striker Davor Šuker earned the FIFA Golden Boot for his 6 Goals in the tournament. He is now the President of the Croatian Football Federation.